Heritage Preservation Commission reviews future for Chardonnay H - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Heritage Preservation Commission reviews future for Chardonnay House

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The future of the Chardonnay House could be anyone's guess, and Tuesday, the Heritage Preservation Commission reviewed the outcome of last week's City Council meeting, which found that repairing the building for reuse is not economically feasible.

Less than a week away from what could be City Council's final decision, the Heritage Preservation Commission discussed the future for the more than a century old Chardonnay House on Second Street Southwest.

"I'm hopeful the house is saved," said HPC Chair, Jeff Allman. "It's a great example and I'd like to save it."

What it comes down to is a tug-of-war between public interest to save it, and the property owner's need to sell it. Time is ticking as an approved demolition permit comes closer to reality.

"So they have 120 days to act on it," said Allman. "They're near the 120 days, so my understanding is they plan to act at Monday's City Council meeting."

The meeting will be the final public hearing to see if another buyer will step up to buy and restore the building. The current owner said it would cost $250,000 to take on that project.

If a buyer comes forward, Allman can think of one viable alternative for the building.

"Three apartments and a commercial space are potentially useful to somebody at some price," said Allman.

Commission members also discussed creating a list of the top ten sites for preservation in Rochester.

Two consultants will begin research on sites that fit historic criteria set by the commission, but it's not just about list making for these emblems of our area.

"I'm comforted by them," said Allman. "I want my kids and my kids' kids to know them and to come and know where they're from and this is where our people are from and this is what we're about. Our people made a difference."
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